Oceania's Home away from home

Oceania’s Home away from Home

By Matt Bowcott and Lewis Woods of The Reporters’ Academy

For many athletes, the Olympic village is the heart of their Olympics Games, acting as a home for the weeks up to and during the Games. Athletes from around the world have really settled in to the world class facilities, and are clearly impressed with the cutting edge design and feel to the park. When the bid was accepted back in 2005, London said they wanted to deliver a spacious village that is a stone’s throw from London’s entertainment, and a village that makes the athletes journey as inspirational and as real as possible, from the reaction from athletes, they are on their way to doing that.

Speaking to athletes from America Samoa, it is clear that the Olympic village is buzzing and truly represents the friendship and kindness of the Olympic Games. Kent Yamada, Chef de Mission of American Samoa told us that the relaxation area for the athletes “really took the pressure of the athletes, and let them enjoy being part of the Games.”

Even from outside of the Olympic Village you can see teams making their apartments their own, by draping their countries flags over the balconies. On Oceania’s apartment block you can see countries like, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tuvalu and Samoa, showing they have arrived but also the depth within the Oceania community. The Oceania family are starting to build, day by day; teams from Oceania are arriving and adding to the Olympic family. Athletes from American Samoa described the great feeling, of being able to mix with other athletes, and seeing the smiling faces of other Oceania athletes, as well as the excitement building with in Oceania House between the teams.

Not only is the Athletes Village providing accommodation to the teams, but giving the athletes world class training facilities, as well as advice and support. The dining hall provides a great example of the advice athletes can receive, it provides the athletes with food from around the world, but also athletes and coaches can sit with nutritional experts and create a plan on the athletes diet, and what is best for them, to help their peak performances.

Victory Park, plays as a centrepiece to the village, the green space provides the athletes chance to wind down after training and take in the “building atmosphere and excitement ahead of the games” as Ching Maou Wei of American Samoa told us. Across the way from the Victory Park, lies The Globe, the main recreational centre for the athletes and dignitaries. This modern space gives athletes the chance to take a break from training and play snooker, table football and the latest in gaming technology, as well enjoying a soft drink while getting in touch with families in their countries using the internet café part of The Globe.

Even though the athletes have been here a few days, there have already been sightings of Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu and Vanuatu making acquaintances with each other and enjoying their journey together. This shows that the teams are quickly settling in to life in the village and Team Oceania are raring to go, this can only be good news for Oceania ahead of the Games.


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